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Thanksgiving Food Swaps

Thanksgiving Food Swaps

Did you know the average American Thanksgiving dinner has approximately 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat?  The staples of a Thanksgiving dinner are action packed with vitamins, minerals and protein.  However, it’s the preparation of the menu items that add the extra calories; the added fat to vegetables, the cream sauces, biscuits, gravy, etc.

Here are just a few ideas to trim the calories and fat from your dinner, but still enjoy all the fixings’.

Swap a Turkey Leg for White Meat

The white meat of the bird has less fat than the turkey leg.  A 3 oz serving of turkey breast has only 4 grams of fat compared to a turkey leg without skin that has 8 grams of fat. Turkey is not only low in fat, but it is also a great source of protein and selenium, which is a mineral with antioxidant properties that protects cells against damage.  

Swap Butter & Milk for Chicken Stock

Prepare your whipped potatoes with chicken stock rather than butter and milk. By cutting the butter and milk, your body can truly absorb all the vitamin C and potassium that a white potato has to offer.  Chicken stock will also make your potatoes extra flavorful, and who doesn’t love that?

Swap Sweet Potato Casserole for a Roasted or Baked potato

Roast or bake a sweet potato instead of making a sweet potato casserole. A sweet potato is an nutrient packed vegetable with high amounts of potassium as well as vitamins A and C. It will begin to lose some of its nutritious value with the sugary add-ons that are in a traditional sweet potato casserole. 

Swap Green Bean Casserole for Steamed Green Beans

Traditional green bean casseroles are prepared with canned creamy sauces and ingredients that contain a great amount of sodium. Steamed green beans however, make an excellent choice to include in your Thanksgiving dinner. They are full of vitamins A and C, fiber and potassium, which support the immune system as well as healthy heart functions.   Five Star Tip – Add flavor to your steamed green beans with garlic and pine nuts.

Swap Apple Pie for Pumpkin Pie

A slice of pumpkin pie has 14 grams of fat, compared to a slice of apple pie which has 19 grams of fat.  Five Star Tip – If you’re preparing your pumpkin pie at home, you can further calorie savings by using fat free evaporated milk.

All of us at Five Star Senior Living want to express our gratitude to the thousands of seniors and families who have chosen a Five Star community as their home. We are also grateful to those who have chosen us a resource and turn to us for words of wisdom on all things senior living.

Many thanks to you and many wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving for you and yours!


Annette Catalfano, RDN
Corporate Dietician
Five Star Senior Living


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